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Alps Electric unveils 120Gb per square inch thin-film HDD heads

The new HRGHL Series giant magneto resistive (GMR) thin-film hard disk drive (HDD) heads are capable of recording densities of 120Gb per square inch. Alps’ new heads will increase future storage capacities for 3.5-inch, 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch, 1.0-inch and smaller HDDs. In 2005 the technology will be in place for manufacturers to release 10GB microdrives. The largest microdrive currently available today is only 4GB.

Although drives are becoming smaller, increasing HDD capacities has dropped annually from 100% to 60%. PC drives have shrunk from 3.5-inch to 2.5-inch media, and notebook PC drives have dropped from 2.5-inch to 1.8-inch media. Just in the last few years 1.0-inch drives have become wide-spread through mobile devices. As HDDs become smaller, the recording medium itself becomes smaller. This means that the physical area available for storage declines. Therefore, the development of higher recording density heads that can pack more data into a smaller area is a vital issue.

Updated March 12th, 2004

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